Melbourne Renegades v Perth Scorchers
Wednesday, 30 December 19:10 EST
It will be a clash of contrasting styles when the Melbourne Renegades’ powerful batting line-up take on the Perth Scorchers’ highly accomplished bowling attack at Docklands Stadium on Wednesday.
The Renegades have flexed their muscles with the bat in both their opening games, successfully chasing down 180 against the Brisbane Heat and posting 4/172 against the Sydney Sixers a week ago. However they have been much less effective with the ball, conceding 49 off the last three overs against the Heat while the Sixers had few issues in overhauling the target set for them which they achieved with seven balls to spare. Veteran spinner Nathan Hauritz may be brought into the starting XI after young pacemen Guy Walker and Cameron Stevenson failed to impress.
The Scorchers got their title defence back on track with an emphatic nine-wicket win over Brisbane on Boxing Day after a shock defeat to the Adelaide Strikers in their opening fixture. Spearhead Jason Behrendorff returned with great effect against the Heat, taking two wickets, while after a poor match against the Strikers death-bowling specialist Andrew Tye enjoyed a return to form with 3/23. A relatively light top-order should be boosted by the return of Shaun Marsh who top-scored against Adelaide.
Last week’s match between the Renegades and Sixers at Docklands produced a pitch that was much better for batting than what was seen last season where the average first innings score was just 132. Chris Gayle blasted three sixes on his way to 46 against Sydney and if he can continue that sort of form at home he could achieve cult-hero status at Docklands.
The home side are the most marginal of favourites for this match at 1.98 in early markets, with the visiting Scorchers at 2.02. Both sides go into this match with one win apiece, both against the Heat, however the visitors were much more convincing in dispatching the wooden spoon favourites. Furthermore the Renegades have never beaten Perth in the history of the BBL and have made the semi-finals only once, while the Scorchers are yet to finish outside the top four.
The Renegades may be at home however a more accomplished all-round side and visibly superior bowling attack gives Perth the edge for me so I’m more than happy to be backing them at odds-against.